When is it enough?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2009
When is it enough?
Fri, 07-26-2013 - 11:31pm

Hi guys, I have missed the interactions that used to be so frequent here. I have been mulling this over for a while and I just want to get others thoughts (even though it is not debt related)...A while ago a friend from high school posted a comment on Facebook about how her job didn't sound important or glamorous enough. My first thoughts were, “Are you kidding me!?!” This girl went to a private, relatively prestigious women’s college, served in the Peace Corps, speaks another language, travels the world frequently, and is currently serving as an elementary school teacher. She is the girl who got strait As and is stunningly beautiful. She is one of the classmates that I have always admired for everything she has accomplished. I strive to be more giving in part because of the sacrifices that I have seen her make for her students.

I have also been struggling personally with my accomplishments being/sounding significant. I never feel like it is enough. Ironically, the reason she made the post (I later found out) was because of the job titles on my Linkedin account. So…when will it be enough for me (and her and presumably a few others in my graduating class)? Is this a generational thing? Is this just something that came from how we challenged each other throughout school? What gives? Have any of you faced this issue?

JenAaron.jpg picture by jen2075


Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Thu, 08-01-2013 - 6:28pm

"My stunningly beautiful friend"? "Cute, voluptuous blonde"??? Now you guys are just teasing me. *sulk*

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Wed, 07-31-2013 - 8:45pm

Great thread, Jen! It is interesting to ponder these things and it sounds like a grass is always greener issue for your friend.

Love the quotes PB and Galstore - we have such a great crowd here.

Personally I have been the cute voluptuous blonde, gone to a great college, worked for some cool companies, gotten advanced degrees, but my personal life has always made me feel more at peace than my career, and I did not know that until living these last 5 years with my 2nd husband.  Being with my kids and husband makes me feel most complete.

THEN I pursued my dream profession and have a commitment to helping people.  I have my own firm, so what I do is all on me.  This new phase is really helping me feel complete, knowing what I am doing is meaningful and actually being old enough, and comfortable enough to actually use my own feelings to decide what I WANT to do.  If I do no want a client, I fire them!!  If I want to pursue something, I do pursue it.  Oh, it is scary at some point not knowing if I will do well, or even enough to allow us to survive, let alone thrive.

I did not get here until age 50, and like you, I was searching for decades.

SO I will quote Oprah as I heard her radio show when I was at a crossroad:  You define your own life, Don't let other people write you script.  Failure is a signpost to turn in another direction.  Let passion drive your profession.

I had to have the experiences I did to get where I am today.  So even if the road had a lot of potholes, and it is not guarenteed to be a smooth ride ahead, I am enjoying the journey, especially this particular part.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2009
Tue, 07-30-2013 - 11:26pm

As I read through the replies, it is funny to me that I never even connected the personal life with the professional. The internal drive that makes me bonkers is strictly professional. This is completely opposed to my home life where I am blessed beyond belief. I love my family and my life. I am so proud of all of my kids and I was so very lucky to find a mate as perfectly suited to me as my husband. I cannot imagine a better scenario at home. We have everything we need and I truly want for nothing. Maybe that is why this professional drive makes me uncomfortable…

Stormydancer – “It soon became apparent that things he VALUED and CHERISHED were not work related at all. He did want a job that made society better and served a purpose.” ßThis is so me!!! Really I don’t care what I do as long as it makes a difference and makes someone’s life better.

The titles and prestige mean recognition to me (I think it all just clicked…), I just want to be recognized for doing a job and doing it well.

Countrygal – I really appreciate your point of view…I love the simple, strait forward responses! If you knew me IRL, you would know why ;) I always say I am too country to be city and too city to be country…I am just a small town girl.


Bumblingalong – I have really noticed how much titles matter while searching for jobs. The better I make my title sound, the better the chance of a call back. I made a small tweak to my current resume/Linkedin and got an interview finally. It was silly to me since all of the details beneath the title were the same, yet the interviewer made reference to it more than once.

JenAaron.jpg picture by jen2075

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Tue, 07-30-2013 - 12:52pm

You know Jen, I do think there has been a change in the significance of job titles in the last ten years or so.  My hubby has been in his field for more than 20 years and only recently has his professional title become something that he has to care about.  He is use to negoiating for vacation time and pay, but this last go around with his employer his emphasis is more on his title.

And my friends and relatives in the HR field concur that titles are becoming more important.  Qualified applicants are being passed over simply because their current titles don't accurately reflect their level of expertise or responsibility.

I'm really not a person that cares a great deal about material things.  I live quite simply.  I believe in having a job that brings satisfaction more than money . . . but . . . with that being said, I also believe it is wise to be aware of what your job title conveys to others.  It's just another important part of your working picture.

You've accomplished so much already. I think it's a good idea for you to make sure your title reflects that to others.  It's not vain or silly.  It's become an important part of the professional world.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 07-29-2013 - 5:53pm

To extend what Karen said, I would say that when we can accept where we are, and be okay with that, it is only then that we can move "forward" towards "bigger and better" things. 

When we can't be satisfied with what we have, and feel we NEED the job, the title, the house, the degree to be whole or happy, that is when we are in trouble.  That is when we never have enough. 

If we can't be grateful for what we have, we will never have enough.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2008
Mon, 07-29-2013 - 4:18pm

I am also afraid to post a reply because I am such a simple person.  Not to say the last four and one half years has made me even more so.

I can't quote Shakespear, but I can quote Forrest Gump, "Life is like a box of chocolates".  Some of us are happy with simple chocolate and some of us are happier with the fancy ones and some of us want them ALL. 

Life is Good, no matter how you choose to live it!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Mon, 07-29-2013 - 12:38pm

I think this goes hand in hand with looking around and being happy with what you have.

I've never cared about job title exactly. I am not happy with my house though so I think for me. I will be happy with a new house when we do and happy with the fact that we can meet the payments save for the future and enjoy the kids. I'm just not there yet! Of course we need to be happy with healthy kids and enjoy the ride but I know I will have "arrived" when this happens. 

You have a lot to be proud of Jen.  Keep up the good fight!

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 07-29-2013 - 12:35pm

Good question!

For me, I tried the "the suit and the loot" and I drove myself into the ground.  Financially and emotionally. 

I think some of us have to give it a shot before we realize it just isn't for us.  Some can do it, and that is great.  But I think we all should question our motives when money or prestige are involved. 

My DH has asked me more than once, regarding school, "do you want to get an A because you want to learn this stuff, or just want to be able to say you got an A?"  Honestly, a little of both.  I tell him I got a B on a test: I am disapointed and he says "good job."

Lessons have to be learned, and hopefully we don't ruin relationships on our  journey. 

Serenity CL Making a Second Marriage Work


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2009
Sat, 07-27-2013 - 7:24pm

PB you made me laugh with your comment. I do believe she is in a relationship, sorry ;)

JenAaron.jpg picture by jen2075

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Sat, 07-27-2013 - 3:26pm

My husband came from a "prestigious" family. All of his aunts and uncles went to post secondary schools in Europe. Pilots, aerospace engineers, etc. But DH's mother couldn't finish high school. She married very modestly. When I met him he had the attitude, "nothing is ever going to be good enough so I am not going to bother." IOWs, he will never be a pilot or something glamorous so he was at a loss as to what to do. Most generations suffer from the expectations of the their parents. I have a completely different experience than that and it has its blessings and curses too. (that is another thread but I'd be happy to share if you are interested)

So DH struggled from job to job. Nothing felt right and nothing was satisfying.

I met him and encouraged him to use his artistic creative skill to open a business. It was successful and he loved the work. Guess what? He STILL wasn't happy!!!!!! I could not believe it. It was my money that started the business, it was my connections, sales and support that made it all happen. I financially supported us while it got off the ground. And when the money/sales started coming in,  he realized that even success was not satisfying.

So I sat him down and asked him what makes him happy. He said, his marriage, his son, etc. It soon became apparent that things he VALUED and CHERISHED were not work related at all. He did want a job that made society better and served a purpose. Deep down, the artistic thing was a hobby and didn't fulfill that need. So he choose law enforcement. It took 2 years of commitment to get there but he did. Now he is very happy at work. He makes good money, makes a difference and has plenty of time to spend with his kids (he is the primary caregiver).

Initially his family gave him a hard time about it. Even my family did (which is weird). But he just repeats, "I'm happy. I'm good thanks." And it is true. And more imporant that how something sounds.

As you get older you learn to decide for yourself what is important and to bring that into your life.

Good luck finding out for yourself :)